Media and Social Media are always blamed for over exaggerating things during the crisis times. I can say that because I have seen the media making a mountain out of a mole-hill, whether it be regarding the so called intolerance or a casual conversation between a couple about the safety of their kids. But recently I have seen an entirely different face of social media and I have to say social media is here to stay not just because it connects people but it helps them too. I was amazed to see how the social media had helped Chennai during the floods.
Like everyone else I am also active on all popular social media networks and I could see help pouring in from everywhere for the flood affected people. What took me to surprise was that the much condemned social media was being so fruitful in helping people in need. A google spreadsheet was circulated with helpline numbers and volunteer details so that people who need help can communicate with the volunteers. All parts of Chennai weren’t affected equally, there were people from other parts of Chennai extending their help by offering food, shelter and medical aid. I remember seeing so many Facebook posts with details of the location of safe houses where people can come in and seek shelter.
Social Media helped in providing a common platform where everyone could come ahead and contribute to the relief fund for flood victims. In no time twitter was trending with hashtags like #chennairains, #chennaivolunteer, #chennairescue, #chennairainshelp and a lot more which made the tracking even more easier. Social media wasn’t just helping the flood affected people but was also very instrumental in helping the volunteers who were working rigorously towards rescuing people. Social media helped the volunteers in circulating the right information and mapping the demand and supply so that help is extended at the right place and at the right time.
Internet is very powerful and so is our social media. If it is used correctly both can bring a momentous difference in our lifestyle. We are often asked not to spend much time online or putting it bluntly not to waste much time online but next time someone says that to you, you know what to respond. The awesome online world and the networking has saved many lives during the crisis and I truly bow down the way people have used it to the fullest.
Hats off social media !!
What do you think about the contribution of social media in Chennai Floods ?